Mixed fortunes for champions on the opening day of the Premier League, Grange men were 8-0 winners over Kelburn, but in the womens’ competition Edinburgh University lost 4-3 to local rivals Watsonians in their opening encounter.

Grange may be in transition mode but they began the defence of their Premier League title with an eight goal win over Kelburne at Fettes.

After a fairly even opening ten minutes the champions took the lead with a reverse stick shot from new Aussie import Josh McRae.  The game was effectively over as a contest following further strikes by Andy Graham with a dink over the keeper and a tap in from Jacob Tweedie for a three-goal half-time lead.

Grange really turned the screw in the third quarter with a further four goals, Dan Coultas at a penalty corner, a double from Duncan Riddell and another by McRae, this time high into the net from a narrow angle.

There was some let-up in the scoring in the final quarter although Coultas added the eighth from another penalty corner shot.

A Jamie Golden hat-trick was the catalyst in Grove Menzieshill`s seven goal victory over Hillhead on Tayside.  Keir Robb scored twice while Luke Cranney and Albert Rowling were the others on target.

The all-West clash between Clydesdale and Western ended in a 2-2 draw. David Clark gave the home side the advantage in the first quarter and then Ewan Lindsay doubled the tally for Clydesdale.

However, in the final quarter Rob Harwood pulled one back for the Wildcats and with four minutes left Andrew McConnell secured a share of the points.

21 September 2019 at Titwood, Glasgow.
Scottish Hockey Premiership match – Clydesdale v Western Wildcats

Watsonians took the early initiative with a 4-3 win over neighbours Edinburgh University.   Guy Rowson put the students in front but Watsonians stormed back with four goals in a row from Ally Dougall (2), Danny Cain and Euan Burgess.   University came close to levelling the match, they scored twice through Costa Stylianou and Matt Taylor, but fell at the final hurdle when Watsonians` keeper Luke Campbell saved their effort from the spot.

Women’s champions Edinburgh University were on the wrong end of a shock on the opening day, they went down 4-3 to local rivals Watsonians.

The first quarter finished level, Georgia Jones, ironically a Watsonians` player last season, opened for the students only for Lucy Lanigan`s diving deflection to cancel it out.

Hanna McKie put Edinburgh 2-1 ahead in the following quarter but by the interval Watsonians had a 3-2 lead through Bella Fiskin on her debut and Lanigan again.    Sarah Jamieson seemed to seal the points for the underdogs with a great deflection and although Jones scored again for University, Watsonians held out for a famous victory.

No such problems for title challengers Wildcats with a 5-0 win against newly promoted Merlins Gordonians.  Their international keeper Siobhan Cowie pulled off some excellent saves however Wildcats dominated this game.

For Wildcats Ava Smith scored on her debut, Alex Stuart notched a brace while the other strikes came from Catriona Booth and Rona Stewart.

Further Dundee Wanderers laid down their mark for honours with a 8-0 win over GHK on Tayside.   Vikki Bunce (2), Lucy Williamson and Hannah Young gave Wanderers a four goal advantage at the interval.   In the second period the victory was completed with further goals from Emily Dark (2), Williamson again and Hannah Young.

Grove started their campaign with a 4-2 win over Glasgow University.  Sam Sangster put the Taysiders ahead in the first half with a penalty corner strike. After the break further goals followed from Katie Stott, Sangster again from the spot, and an overtime strike from Lauren Kingston.

In the last game of the day Clydesdale Western ran out 5-1 winners over Hillhead, the goals came from Karin Belch, Fran Lonergan, Ali Howie, Holly Steiger and finally Lexi Sabatelli.

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